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Mask, airport

Is Europe really dropping rules on face masks for flights?

Media agencies across the UK and Europe are reporting that from Monday 16 May, the requirements to wear masks will be scrapped: but is this completely true?

Published by
C. 'silver-tooth' Sharpe·19/09/2023

The media is currently awash with reports that from Monday 16 May it will no longer be a rule to wear masks on flights and in airports in Europe. However, this isn't exactly true.

Where did this news come from?

The reports originate from an announcement by European Aviation Safety Agency EASA and the EU health authority ECDC, that states face masks in airports and on European flights is "No longer recommended".

Will face masks rules for flying be dropped on Monday 16 across Europe?

No. The above are recommendations only: rules around wearing masks are still up to national governments to decide. For example, in Germany masks must still be worn while flying, until the German Infection Protection Act has been changed.

Will anything change with this news?

In the short term, nothing will change directly on Monday. However, in time, more EU countries could follow this recommendation and abolish the obligation.

Has anywhere changed rules on wearing masks while flying?

Several countries in the EU such as Finland, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland have already abolished the obligation to wear masks on airplanes.

I'm flying to Europe soon, what should I do?

We would advise bringing a face mask with you, so that you are not caught out by national rules, which are not always easy to find information on. Also, remember that countries in Europe all have different rules on where you NEED to wear a mask (such as public transport, public places and supermarkets) which won't be affected by this rule change, so it's handy to bring one with you at all times just in case.

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